The aim of this study was to explore nurses' perceptions of climate and environmental issues and examine how nurses perceive their role in contributing to the process of sustainable development.
Climate change and its implications for human health represent an increasingly important issue for the healthcare sector. According to the International Council of Nurses Code of Ethics, nurses have a responsibility to be involved and support climate change mitigation and adaptation to protect human health.
This is a descriptive, explorative qualitative study.
Nurses (n = 18) were recruited from hospitals, primary care and emergency medical services; eight participated in semi-structured, in-depth individual interviews and 10 participated in two focus groups. Data were collected from April-October 2013 in Sweden; interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using content analysis.
Two main themes were identified from the interviews: (i) an incongruence between climate and environmental issues and nurses' daily work; and (ii) public health work is regarded as a health co-benefit of climate change mitigation. While being green is not the primary task in a lifesaving, hectic and economically challenging context, nurses' perceived their profession as entailing responsibility, opportunities and a sense of individual commitment to influence the environment in a positive direction.
This study argues there is a need for increased awareness of issues and methods that are crucial for the healthcare sector to respond to climate change. Efforts to develop interventions should explore how nurses should be able to contribute to the healthcare sector's preparedness for and contributions to sustainable development.
Early mobilization and rehabilitation, multidisciplinary stroke expertise and comprehensive therapies are fundamental in a stroke unit. To achieve effective and safe stroke care, the physical environment in modern stroke units should facilitate the delivery of evidence-based care. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore patients' activities and interactions in a stroke unit before the reconstruction of the physical environment, while in a temporary location and after reconstruction. This case study examined a stroke unit as an integrated whole. The data were collected using a behavioral mapping technique at three different time points: in the original unit, in the temporary unit and in the new unit. A total of 59 patients were included. The analysis included field notes from observations of the physical environment and examples from planning and design documents. The findings indicated that in the new unit, the patients spent more time in their rooms, were less active, and had fewer interactions with staff and family than the patients in the original unit. The reconstruction involved a change from a primarily multi-bed room design to single-room accommodations. In the new unit, the patients' lounge was located in a far corner of the unit with a smaller entrance than the patients' lounge in the old unit, which was located at the end of a corridor with a noticeable entrance. Changes in the design of the stroke unit may have influenced the patients' activities and interactions. This study raises the question of how the physical environment should be designed in the future to facilitate the delivery of health care and improve outcomes for stroke patients. This research is based on a case study, and although the results should be interpreted with caution, we strongly recommend that environmental considerations be included in future stroke guidelines.
Cites: PLoS One. 2016 Aug 30;11(8):e016194227575043